Photography: Maite H. Mateo
The final running of the bulls of Sanfermin 2009, with bulls from the Nuñez del Cuvillo bull-ranch, was an extremely fast running, covered in a time of 2 min. 20 sec. There were only three runners removed to hospital for treatment for bruising and slight injuries.
Yet another year when the runners tried to take their last opportunity of getting close in front of the bulls’ horns in this final running of the bulls of 2009. Some spectacular running could be appreciated over the whole length of the course. The bulls behaved very nobly and their swiftness was the only source of danger, especially from the leading black bull who pulled in front at the end of the Santo Domingo stretch and then ran ahead over the rest of the course, knocking down several runners with his fast pace.
At the Santo Domingo stretch the pack came out of the pens in a compact group at a very fast pace. At the end of this stretch a black bull took the lead and guided the rest of the animals over the rest of the course. The bell-oxen kept the other bulls in a compact group as the pack entered City Hall square.
The leading black bull was getting further and further ahead and it entered the Mercaderes bend at full speed, knocking over a couple of runners who were caught on the left side of the stretch. One runner was tossed against the wall on this bend and three of the bulls coming behind with the bell-oxen crashed into the wall on the left side at the beginning of Estafeta and several runners got trapped under the animals on the ground.
All along Estafeta Street, some of the good runners managed to display some good running close to the horns, although some of them were knocked down due to the rapid pace of the bulls and even the bell-oxen today. The course was not very crowded compared to the previous days and on this occasion the most difficult thing for the runners was to keep up with the swift pace of the animals.
The leading black bull reached the bullring in under two minutes, which is almost a record-time, and the rest of the pack reached the bullring within a few seconds later. One black bull slipped up along with some runners just as it entered the arena. Luckily, it made no attempt to gore the runners underneath its body and the runners were quickly able to get to their feet and run off while the bulls still struggled slowly to get up from the ground. Once on its feet, the bulls quickly ran towards the safety of the pens where the rest of the animals had already entered.